Grumpy Continues to Dog It
Not all of Grumpy’s truck driving experiences with dogs involved full out sprints for survival. Indeed, he quickly learned that, if he was going to deliver to a location more than once, he better damned well get cosy with the resident dog. In this way he hoped to avoid any confrontation that might result in teeth marks on his posterior.
One particular delivery northeast of Chatham involved one such dog. Grumpy delivered there when the greenhouse owner had just purchased a German shepherd pup. The owner insisted said pup would be ample security once it became full grown. After all, it’s a scary place way out there near Florence, Ontario.
Grumpy, being short of stature, recognized that a large German shepherd could easily lord over him. He recalled his eldest son Matt, and his friend Dustin who had a dog named Bo. This dog was so big Grumpy thought that it might just be a wolf.
Once in a while when Grumpy was out for a walk, Dustin would sick old Bo on him, laughing like hell and hoping Grumpy might just wet his pants. He’d call the dog off at the last moment, of course. Grumpy would smile and give Dustin a single finger salute.
Anyway, Grumpy played with that little pup each time he made a delivery. The dog would come at him all piss and vinegar, but once he saw the Grumps, he’d flip over on his back and beg for a tummy rub. Oh, once in a while that little dog would sink his teeth into Grumpy’s pant legs and pull. But, it was all in good natured puppy fun. The manager was never present during these playful interludes, Grumpy might add.
That year several deliveries were made and after the last visit (Construction Project Complete) the pup was still a puppy but he was getting much much bigger.
Fast forward two years.
Grumpy got the call from Uncle Butch to make a trip up to Florence to deliver some parts. Being of an age when memory often fails him, it didn’t even dawn on him that this was the location of his little puppy friend. Two years is like a millennium when it comes to Grumpy’s memory banks.
So, upon arrival, Grumpy disembarked and set about releasing the triggers that held the thick strapping in place. Grumpy never worried about losing a load because the 250 pound dude that secured the straps had biceps like watermelons. However, this did pose a problem for Grumpy because his biceps were more like the size of tennis balls. Most often, Grumpy had to put all of his feet-off-the-ground weight on the bar that levered the gear in order to release those straps. This day was one of those feet-off-the-ground days.
Just as the strap released and Grumpy was nearly catapulted into the air, he heard a growl and a bark that could have come from the depths of hell. That’s when his memory banks kicked in; that’s when he remembered that German shepherd pup from two years ago. At that moment his bladder felt as if it were about to detonate.
Turning slowly to put his back to the trailer, Grumpy saw the bounding beast as it sprinted in his direction. This dog was bigger than Bo; in fact, this shepherd looked to be bigger than a good sized Saint Bernard.
Grumpy would have screamed or called out, but somehow his voice was frozen in abject terror. So, he did what most victims do in horror movies – he closed his eyes and prayed. He felt as if he was “done like dinner” and you can take that in a literal sense.
In the next moment, Grumpy felt the weight of two doggy paws on his shoulders and the dish cloth lapping of a giant tongue on his face. Upon opening his eyes Grumpy realized that this ginormous canine was treating him as if he were a long lost friend. It seems as if doggy memory banks are exceedingly strong because it was obvious this doggone dog remembered his scent from two years past. His wagging tail confirmed this in spades.
Looking over the shepherds shoulder, Grumpy saw the greenhouse manager running toward him with eyes wide and an expression of terror painted on his face. Grumpy was sure he must of thought that his efficient guard dog was about to swallow Grumpy’s head in one gulp.
Seeing that this was not the case, the manager finally relaxed and sighed. Turning to his huge dog he said, “Some guard dog you are, Cujo!”
MORAL OF THE STORY: Grumpy’s rule for rural deliveries. If you’re going to deliver to a rural location more than once, you’d better damned well get cosy with the resident dog.